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SOUND DOCTRINE (7): We Will Live With Him

FAITHFUL SAYING (3): We Will Live With Him.

Here is a trustworthy saying:

If we died with him, we will also live with Him; if we endure, we will also reign with Him.

If we disown Him, He will also disown us; if we are faithless, He will remain faithful, for He cannot disown Himself. – 2 Timothy 2:11-13

This is the third “trustworthy saying” (“faithful saying” in the KJV) we will consider. Elders are to hold fast to the “trustworthy message” (very similar to “trustworthy saying” in the Greek) so they can exhort and rebuke with sound doctrine (Titus 1:9). Hence, these five “trustworthy sayings” are markers that identify “sound doctrine.”

Earlier posts looked at 1 Timothy 1:15 and 1 Timothy 4:9-10.

Many scholars believe 2 Timothy 2:11-13 contain words from a hymn sung by the early church. The Bible does not say this, but the format of the “saying” is certainly in keeping with Jewish poetry as seen in the Psalms.

There are at least three important truths in this “trustworthy saying.”

  • We will live with Him – but only if we died with Him.
  • We will reign with Him – but only if we endure.
  • He will disown us if we lose our faith by disowning Him. This is true, because He cannot disown Himself – which He would have to do to continue in fellowship with one who disowns Him.

All of these have to do with healthy teaching or sound doctrine. Notice that the focus is on our relationship with Him, not on the rituals and ceremonies of worship or the details of church organization. (1 Timothy 3:1 does have a trustworthy saying related to church organization, but we will deal with it later.)

We Will Live With Him

How many times did Jesus tell His disciples that they would live through Him? He said,

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. – John 10:10b

When He came to the Bethany after Lazarus died, Martha came out to meet Him. She said that if He had been there, Lazarus would not have died – but she also showed faith by saying it was not yet too late, for God would give Him whatever He asked. He said to her.

I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. – John 11:25-26

The prologue to John’s gospel proclaims,

In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. – John 1:4

If we die with Him, we will live with Him. This takes us back to our immersion into Christ.

For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, He cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over Him.; The death he died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God.

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. – Romans 6:6-11

Dying and living are at the heart of the good news of salvation in Christ. That is what this trustworthy saying is about: dying with Jesus that we might live with Him by the power of God. I wrote about the power of God for those who believe that is like the power He exerted when He raised Jesus from the dead. That same power – Resurrection Power – is the power working in us.

This power enables us to reign with Him as well, if we endure faithfully. We reign over sin now; we will reign with Him in glory later.

If We Deny Him

The life He gives us is in the Christ Himself. If we cut ourselves off from Him, we cut ourselves off from the life He brings. Just as Adam and Eve cut themselves off from the Tree of Life when they sinned, if we deny Him He will deny us. Jesus Himself said this:

Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But, whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven. – Matthew 10:32-33

Those who deny the possibility of the apostasy of a child of God twist the Trustworthy Message of 2 Timothy 2:11-13 beyond recognition. They certainly fail to see the close resemblance between that Faithful Saying and this statement by the Lord Himself.

Dying with Jesus who has died for us; living with Him faithfully to the end: these bring us into a continuing relationship with Him. In that relationship, He keeps us securely.

This is a trustworthy saying. You can take it to the bank! It is trustworthy because it rests in the faithfulness of the Son of God.

NEXT: SOUND DOCTRINE (8) – Stress These Things

PREVIOUS: SOUND DOCTRINE (6) – We Put Our Hope in God

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